Adesanya has won three fights in a row by decision and some fans have criticized the Nigerian-born New Zealander for his lack of early wins.
Criticism of The Last Master of Style intensified after his last title defense, victory over Jared Cannonier in July. After Adesanya entered the ring to the music of WWE star The Undertaker., despite the elements of the wrestling legend’s clothing, fans expected a bright victory from the 33-year-old fighter. Instead, Adesanya outplayed Cannonier with an impressive but largely risk-free punching performance.
“I don’t hold on to things, I allow myself to feel them,” Adesanya said on Hour of MMA Monday (September 7th). “People try to deny and block something, [but] if you fight with your emotions, they will get you later. So, I feel it.
“I cried backstage. Me and Eugene [Bareman, coach] hugged him and told me, “Don’t worry, you’ll be fine.” I’m like, “Just give me the bourbon, I’ll be fine.”
“So I expressed it, felt it, and let it go. It’s a good way to let your emotions out…it relaxes you. It’s just a normal human function, I don’t know why we’re ashamed of it.”
Saturday (November 12) Adesanya defends his title against Alex Pereirawho has won two victories over Adesanya, including by knockout, since kickboxing.
Adesanya will aim to remain undefeated in middleweight in MMA in Saturday’s fight with Pereira; the UFC champion’s only loss in MMA came last year when he fought for gold in the light heavyweight division.
Meanwhile, the 35-year-old Pereira has a 6-1 professional MMA record with five knockout wins. Recently, Brazilian knocked out Sean Strickland on the undercard of Adesanya’s victory over Cannonier.